The biggest ceramic and marble fair of the North America, Coverings 2016 is organized in Chicago, U.S., between April 18-21. Spain, Turkey, Italy, Brazil and China being in the first place, participant companies from 40 different countries represented their products in the fair for the American buyers.
Exhibitions, conferences, live presentations and introductory meetings have been taken place throughout the fair. Apart from the U.S., many architects, contractors, distributors, shop owners, individual consumers and owners of construction market chains from different countries visited the fair.
Having its 27th anniversary this year, the Coverings fair held the national participation of our country for the 15th time, under the organization of Istanbul Mineral Exporters’ Association (IMIB). At the fair, 36 companies are involved in the national participation organization and also 9 IMIB URGE and 8 BAIB (Western Anatolia Exporters’ Association) URGE attendance have been taken place. Along with the various events organized, the fact that there are 650 kinds of marbles in Anatolia has been illustrated in the fair and it’s emphasized that Turkey is a paradise for marble.
In the first day of the fair, our Consul General in Chicago, Dear Umut Acar, General Directorate of Mining Affairs Head of Department, Dear Eyüp Yadigar, Board Chairman of Istanbul Mineral Exporters’ Association, Dear Ali Kahyaoğlu have visited the fair booths and listened the thoughts and wishes of our participant companies.
“It’s not difficult to retrieve the U.S. market”
Focusing on the fact that the 9% of the world’s natural stone exportation is covered by Turkey, the Board Chairman of IMIB, Ali Kahyaoğlu explained: “More importantly, Turkey holds almost 40% of the world’s marble reserves. We are considering the current situation inadequate for an industry that we showed significant strength. We embraced a really important generation for now. A major opportunity is waiting at the door for us to become the leader in this field. We need to work harder. We need to reunite.”
Emphasizing on the fact that the U.S. market is really important to increase the market share and scale up in the world ranking, Kahyaoğlu said: “This fair is extremely important for us. Because the U.S. market is the second largest market following China. As a homeland for marbles, we are only having 11% of share from this market. We need to embrace the goal of getting ahead of Italy, Brazil and China and becoming a leader in the U.S. market where products with high added values are being sold when considered together with Canada. The U.S. market which our country had the highest export rates until 2008, needs to be placed on top and we need to increase our share in the market to nearly 20%. This is not that difficult. The marble exports pertaining to our country have been increased 50% in the last 6 years. So it means that when you work hard enough, you achieve your purpose. Currently, we are selling 1,9 billion dollars worth of natural stones. Our goal for the year 2023 is 7,5 billion dollars. In order to achieve this, we need to increase the fees per kilo and put the design forward. We should sell the products of this kind to the U.S. market. Being the biggest buyer of the world and exporting a total of 2,3 trillion dollars, the U.S. market needs to involve marble just like any other industry to be received more shares.”
During the first evening of the fair, the representatives of the industry came together with a dinner organization held by IMIB.